Pre-election drama with Bulgarian electoral system

Photo: BGNES

The dissolution of parliament and scheduling early elections in Bulgaria is a matter of days. However, political tensions in the legislative body, regarding the voting system, have not been decreasing, but have actually been rising.

On Tuesday, the Legal Affairs Committee refused to include in its agenda the topic of discussion and adoption of the results of the national referendum on introducing majority voting system. A proposal was made by GERB in extraordinary order, but all the other political forces represented in the committee - BSP, MRF, Reformist Bloc, Patriotic Front, Bulgarian Democratic Center, Ataka and ABC, voiced opposition. Thus the GERB party remained one against all but still did not give up the intention to put the topic for discussions on the first day of the new session of parliament. GERB was in a similar "one against all" position in June 2014, when commenting the agreement between political powers in the Council for National Security that the past parliamentary elections should take place in the period September 28 -October 12, GERB leader Boyko Borissov said that the BSP, MRF and Ataka could not be trusted and from there on a political war would start.

The reason for the radical opposition then gave a rejection of a GERB proposal for the parliament not to discuss a veto of President Plevneliev on the Ministry of Interior Act. Now the reason is disagreement over plans for changing the proportional electoral system of Bulgaria with majority one some two months before the election. Not only all parliamentary parties, with the exception of GERB, call against the change but the newly elected head of state Rumen Radev also expressed bewilderment why the topic of the referendum was revived days before the dissolution of the 43rd National Assembly, accompanied by requests for an extension of its work . In this regard, Radev said he would not extend the life of this Parliament and soon after he stepped into office on January 22, he would appoint a caretaker government, dissolve the National Assembly and set a date for early elections.

It is noteworthy that the change in election rules in Bulgaria has been turning into a dangerous practice that a number of parties and experts called against. A number of sociologists commented that plans for such a change in the last minute put the parliament in an embarrassing situation.

Perhaps GERB has also realized this and its persistence is based on election campaign goals. Social attitudes show a clear desire for change in the electoral system and supporting this call would logically provide electoral advantage. This would become clear during the early elections. We would not wait for the results for too long as elections will take place in late March or early April.

English: Alexander Markov

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